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Caramel Apple Upside Down Cake

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A slice of warm delicious down home caramel apple upside down cake is sure to bring a smile to your face.  Add a scoop of ice cream to this spiced cake for an extra special fall treat.

close slice of warm upside down caramel apple skillet cake with scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel sauce.

This apple upside-down cake has a caramelly apple bottom that becomes the top when you flip it out. We love baking it in a cast iron skillet, but don’t worry that isn’t absolutely necessary. The tips for making it in a cake pan are listed below.

Apple season is official upon us. So it’s time to break out the warmer flavors of caramel and cinnamon. 

This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to get all of those cozy flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple.

It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent. It is sure to become a family favorite recipe that is requested every autumn.

Making the Cake

Imagine the smells of warm brown sugar, apples and cinnamon baking in your cast iron skillet.  In fact, don’t imagine it…

Get yourself moving towards your kitchen so you can make this happen asap! The apple orchards are starting to bring in the new harvest and there is no time like the present to celebrate.

slices of apples, cinnamon sticks, slice of caramel apple upside down skillet cake.

Not only will you have the joy of making something super delicious, but your house will smell amazing.  Everyone who enters your kitchen will know something good is about to happen!

Luckily this cake is easy enough to whip up.  There is a simple caramel apple layer that incorporates some of our favorite baking spices to make it extra aromatic and flavorful.

The cake itself comes together quickly and you can have the skillet in the oven in no time at all.  Which is good, because you are going to want to dive in as soon as possible.

Slice of caramel apple upside down cake with cinnamon sticks and a cut apple nearby.

Start by melting together butter and brown sugar in a skillet. You want to get it good and bubbly, that is an easy way to get the notes of caramel without having to mess with a candy thermometer.

We like stirring in cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg because they go so well with apples. However, you can leave them out and just add the vanilla extract if you prefer.

Set that aside while you whip up an easy cake batter. It is a quick and easy cake batter than can easily be made with a hand mixer.

Arrange apple slices over the caramel in the bottom of the pan. We like using slices and arranging them nicely.

whole upside down caramel apple skillet cake.

However, you can dice them and throw them in if you prefer. The cake is easier to eat if you peel the apples, but again this is a personal preference and it will still taste good if you don’t want to remove the skins.

After the cake is baked, you will want to let it cool for about 10 minutes, then invert it onto your serving platter. Letting it cool completely will almost certainly make the cake stick to the pan as the brown sugar mixture solidifies.

Make sure tho serve this warm with your favorite vanilla ice cream.  People will remember this cake for a long-long time.

What if I don’t have a 9″ cast iron skillet?

Don’t despair! You can still enjoy this cake.  Just make the butter and brown sugar mixture in a saucepan and pour it into a 9″ cake pan. After that, just follow the instructions in the recipe.

What does apple upside down cake taste like?

If a caramel apple and spice cake got together, this caramel apple upside down cake could be their baby!

bite of caramel apple upside down cake in fork ready to eat.

Possible variations to try:

  • Use dark brown sugar for an even deeper caramel-y molasses flavor
  • Toss some chopped pecans or walnuts in with the apple and buttery brown sugar mixture
  • For a milder spice flavor omit the cloves and add just a dash of nutmeg 
close up of slice of upside down caramel apple cake with a scoop of ice cream and caramel drizzle

More Great Apple Recipes to Try

For another rustic apple cake that is great baked in a cast iron skillet, try Dutch apple cake. The recipe comes from my great-great-grandma and my family has been enjoying it as a breakfast cake or coffee cake for at least a century!

Apple butter pie is another great apple flavored dessert. It will remind you a bit of pumpkin pie but with a creamy apple flavor.

If a layered cake is more your style, check out the layers of applesauce cake with caramel cream cheese frosting. It is perfect for an autumnal party.

Or if you are a big pumpkin bar fan, try making applesauce bars. We like ours with a sour cream frosting, but you could use cream cheese frosting if you prefer.

Did you make this great recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Yield: 12 Servings

Caramel Apple Upside Down Skillet Cake

close slice of warm upside down caramel apple skillet cake with scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel sauce.

This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to get all of those cozy flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple. It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes

Ingredients

Caramel Apple Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 medium apples – peeled, cored and thinly sliced

Cake

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions

  1. To make the caramel: In a 9 inch cast-iron skillet, melt a stick of butter on medium low heat. When it begins to bubble stir in the brown sugar. Continue stirring until smooth and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and vanilla. Allow to cool while you make the cake layer.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar with your hand mixer until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add milk and mix until combined.
  4. Stir in, by hand, the cinnamon, flour and baking powder. Stir just until combined.
  5. Arrange the apples over the caramel mixture. Spoon the cake batter over the apples and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish.
  7. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce if desired.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 330Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 125mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 3g

All nutritional information is estimated and will depend on the exact ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to see it! Share a picture on Instagram or Pinterest and tag me @carleecooks to let me know how it went!

This caramel apple upside down skillet cake is the perfect way to get all of those cozy flavors and feelings together in one delicious dessert. It is part spice cake and part sticky caramel apple. It is great on its own, but of course a scoop of ice cream and drizzle of caramel make it even more decadent!

Thanks for sharing!

Tags

Kippi O'Hern

Monday 31st of August 2020

Yum, I love apple desserts. Pinned and followed your Pinterest! Have a great day, Kippi

Carlee

Monday 7th of September 2020

Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy the cake!

Julia

Friday 13th of September 2019

This dessert speaks to my soul...it looks just perfect!

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

You are going to love it!

Anonymous

Friday 13th of September 2019

This looks delicious!! If I give this a try in my round cake pan do I need to spray the pan before putting the butter/brown sugar mixture in it? Just wanted to make sure... thanks so much! :)

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

I would. Your cake pan won't have the seasoning of a cast iron skillet. I can't wait to hear what you think!

Amy

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

All I have to say is - YES PLEASE!

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

Any time!

Julie | This Main Line Life

Monday 9th of September 2019

This is so delicious. This will definitely become a family favorite.

Carlee

Saturday 14th of September 2019

I am sure it will!

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